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US envoy heads 6-nation tour for 'intra-Afghan' talks: official

AFP  |  Washington 

A is set to lead a large delegation on a six-nation tour, including Afghanistan, to boost that country's peace process and bring "all Afghan parties together in an intra-Afghan dialogue," the State Department has said.

The statement said Sunday that Zalmay Khalilzad, a former to who has undertaken extensive recent talks with the Taliban, would head an interagency delegation from February 10 to 28.

It was unclear whether the group had already left at the time of the statement.

The itinerary will take the US delegation to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, and Pakistan, the statement said, adding that Khalilzad would "consult with the throughout the trip."

The emphasis on bringing "all Afghan parties together" appeared crucial.

US-peace talks have not included the Afghan government, which the considers US-backed puppets, and Khalilzad said recently that intra-Afghan negotiations were essential.

The has in recent months met several times with officials in Qatar, where the group's leaders have an office in the capital

Khalilzad said Friday that he hoped to see a peace deal in place before Afghanistan's July

has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed. But would depend on conditions on the ground.

has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and a US invasion following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 02:55 IST